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What's a Good PSAT Score?


You know you need to study for the PSAT, but how high do you need to qualify for a scholarship?

Taking the PSAT gives you a chance to qualify for several scholarship programs, most notably the National Merit Scholarship Program. The PSAT is also excellent practice for the SAT and can help you stand out to colleges. Keep these tips in mind when preparing for the PSAT:

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Score Overview

PSAT scoring is complex. Your score will range from 320 to 1520 and is calculated by combining your scores on the Reading, Writing & Language, and Math tests.

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There is no penalty on the PSAT for wrong answers, so definitely guess! Your raw score will be the sum of all the questions you answer correctly.

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Raw scores are converted to scaled scores, which are used to determine percentile ranks.

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The percentile indicates how well you did compared to other test takers. If you scored in the 72nd percentile, for example, you did better than 72% of all test takers.

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Score Ranges


Math
Reading & Writing
Combined
Below 500
Below Average
Under 50%

These scores are not as strong as the average testing population scores on the PSAT.

500-550
Good

These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t set you apart from the crowd.

560-610
Competitive
Top 25%

These scores are considered solid scores (top 25% of all test takers) and indicate you’ll be off to a good start with SAT prep, too.

620+
Top Scores
Top 10% of Test Takers

These scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers and will increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

Below 500
Below Average
Under 50%

These scores are not as strong as the average testing population scores on the PSAT.

500-550
Good

These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t set you apart from the crowd.

560-610
Competitive
Top 25%

These scores are considered solid scores (top 25% of all test takers) and indicate you’ll be off to a good start with SAT prep, too.

620+
Top Scores
Top 10% of Test Takers

These scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers and will increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

1050 or below
Below Average
Under 50%

These scores are not as strong as the average testing population scores on the PSAT.

950-1060
Good

These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t set you apart from the crowd.

1070-1200
Competitive
Top 25%

These scores are considered solid scores (top 25% of all test takers) and indicate you’ll be off to a good start with SAT prep, too.

1210-1520
Top Scores
Top 10% of Test Takers

These scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers and will increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

How is the PSAT Scored?

Every correct answer you give on the SAT will be added up to calculate your raw score. (Remember, there’s no penalty for guessing on the SAT.) Next, your raw score will be converted to a scaled score, in a range from 160 to 760 for each section. The College Board, the organization that administers the test, uses a process called “equating” to make sure the scores are scaled fairly and there’s no advantage for taking the PSAT on a particular day. There is no essay on the PSAT.

All About Scholarships

The top 50,000 scorers on the PSAT each year get commendation letters from the National Merit program, and 10,000 of those students are rewarded with scholarship money. Though the National Merit program is the most well-known, there are other scholarship programs that factor in the PSAT in their decision process, including the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.